The 7 Essential Rules Of Vintage Clothing Care

Caring for your vintage clothing may seem like a daunting task, but nothing could be further from the truth. Whether purchased from us or your local flea market: we want you to enjoy your vintage fashion to your fullest extent. So, we carefully broke down the 7 most important rules for their proper care.

Our guidelines may be stricter than your clothing labels. But that’s because those are for new clothes. The second-hand clothes that you’re buying may be decades old. Even if older fashion is of higher quality, it’s still subject to degradation. Proper clothing care will not reverse time; it only extends it.
But, without further ado…

1 Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Do

You’re supposed to enjoy wearing your vintage fashion, so don’t let their care stand in the way of your passion. Don’t worry if you’re limited on time or space to do every aspect of care perfectly. Do what you can. Forego tumble dry, wash less at lower temperatures, and you’ve already extended your clothes’ life.

2 Check For Damage Before Buying

Vintage clothing care starts before your purchase. The previous owner may have worn the piece almost daily for years or stored it improperly for the last two decades. You never know what conditions it endured. For the best clothing care, you should do a damage check before buying. We at the Tiny Parrot Vintage Boutique do this for you, we also repair any damage before selling. But you may not be so lucky with another seller. So, we urge you to inspect them as soon as possible.

Be particularly mindful of damage in the following areas:

  • Seams (especially in the underarm of a sweater or the crotch area of pants)
  • Lining
  • Buttons
  • Zipper (and seams leading into them

Prevention is half the work. For the best vintage clothing care, fix any damage when it’s still small, or avoid buying anything that already has tears.

3 Minmize Washing

Washing not only makes them less sustainable, but it’s also bad for your clothing. Colors wash out and it puts fabrics under extreme stress. Vintage clothing care isn’t only about what you do, but what you don’t do. Here too, prevention is half the battle. Avoid getting your clothes dirty in the first place. But when that’s not feasible, grab a spot-remover for individual stains, and use a fabric spray to get them smelling fresh again.

Vintage clothing care is NOT about doing more. It’s about doing LESS, smarter. For the best care, be mindful of your detergent. Use mild, fabric-specific detergents to keep colors from washing out and fabrics from deteriorating.

Most importantly, minimize machine-washing. Whenever possible, hand wash your vintage pieces at low temperatures. Your clothing will thank you.

4 Avoid Tumble-Drying

When you tumble-dry clothes, it is a nightmare for their durability. For the best vintage clothing care, dry them on a rack whenever possible. However, each fabric needs to dry differently. Check out our below for more details.

5 No Direct Sunlight

For proper care, avoid direct sunlight. You should definitely enjoy your favorite summer dresses in June. Just be careful how you dry and store them. Try not to hang your vintage clothes outside to dry, and store them away from sunlight, which takes us to the next rule…

6 Store Your Vintage Clothing Properly

Proper storage is one of the most important things you can do for vintage clothes, and it takes zero effort on your part. Having a dark, dry, cool, and clean room or closet is a must. Don’t store your clothes in cardboard boxes because cardboard degrades and attracts pests. Use proper, sturdy clothes hangers for clothes you wear frequently (not wire hangers). For long-term storage, wash your clothes properly and put them in a sturdy container.

7 Know Your Fabrics

Proper clothing care is different for every fabric. Identify your fabric and use our Fabric & Laundry Symbol Guides below to apply the correct care for your situation.

In Closing

That’s it! If you weren’t a clothing care pro before, you definitely are now. For further questions, you know how to contact us.